In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the experience of an Educational Psychologist and medical professionals recruitment consultant working across the UK.
  • Gain insight into how the public and private market works.
  • About the current challenges in the industry, including the shortage of Educational Psychologists.
  • How to find and apply for the best Educational Psychologist jobs

In our feature blog, ‘Interview with a recruiter’ we’re catching up with recruiters at Spencer Clarke Group to reveal insightful tips and creative advice for successful hiring across our eleven specialisms.

This time, we caught up with Senior Consultant Natalie Boaler, who recruits temporary, interim and permanent healthcare and SEND roles in the public sector across the whole of the UK. This includes Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. 

After working with children in alternative education provision since she was a teenager and seeing the value in supporting others, Natalie began recruiting for public and private healthcare 2 years ago.

According to the Department for Education’s EP workforce insights research report (June 2023), 88% of local authority Principal Educational Psychologists reported that they were currently experiencing difficulties recruiting. 

Throughout the interview, Natalie shares her secrets for recruiting during a national shortage of Educational Psychologists and uncovers how Spencer Clarke Group can help local authorities to find interim staff. 

Natalie, tell us about yourself

I am a Recruitment Consultant here at Spencer Clarke Group and I absolutely love my job. I specialise in placing Educational Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and medical staff into public and private sector appointments, across both temporary and permanent roles.

I am really passionate about all of these specialisms and pride myself on connecting excellent individuals to great settings.

Outside of work, I am a single mother of two beautiful girls. When I’m not at work, I am at home or out and about with my girls.


How did you end up in the world of recruitment?

After finishing college at 18, my first career was working within a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) working with primary aged children who had been excluded from school, or who were dual registered.

I loved working with the children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties and supporting their families during Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessments and their pathway through diagnosis and beyond. 

I was also working inline with the plans and interventions set out by Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. It was a challenging role and helped me to become a very resilient person.

Following the births of both my children within a 12 month period during both Covid lockdowns, all while attending University, I felt that as my life and responsibilities changed, I needed a role that worked well with my new position as a mother.

I felt it was important to continue to support children and others which led me to healthcare recruitment. I moved to Spencer Clarke Group in July 2023 and it was probably the best career move of my life.


What does your role entail at Spencer Clarke Group?

My role is to find the right fit for my clients, but also source roles that meet the requirements of the clinicians and consultants. 

I believe it is important to not only find the best candidates for a job role, but match the setting to the candidate. Working somewhere that you enjoy and you feel you belong, ensures the most positive outcome for all parties!


Who do you work with?

My day to day at Spencer Clarke Group usually involves engaging with clinicians and consultants looking for either permanent or temporary posts and reaching out to new and existing, public and private sector clients to see if they have any requirements. 

I work with NHS trusts, Local Authorities and private providers across the UK, covering a number of posts.

Can you give us an insight into how your market works?

Once you have told us what you are looking for and completed the onboard and registration process, we have a number of new jobs coming in daily.

If you are looking to get into the interim market, we get roles which span across remote, hybrid and face to face, and we will always find out what you are looking for to connect you to the relevant client.

In order to progress with roles, we send an up to date CV to the hiring manager to review, and set up a phone call, face to face or team meeting before getting to an offer. This is important for the client and yourself to understand if you would like to collaborate. Working in a locum capacity allows you to see how other councils work.

It is understandable to be concerned about the lack of security compared to a substantive post, however most Local Authority’s offer a 3 month initial contract with a view to extend. Most of the contractors we have at the moment have been in their posts for 6 months plus.

There are a number of positives to working within the interim market, such as being able to take a break in your work when you need it most. If you find yourself ever wondering how it works or have any queries, it's best to give us a call. We can discuss working arrangements, what the market is currently like and how we progress.

What is the best thing about being a recruiter in your sector?

The best thing about being a recruiter within my sector is you can tell people are genuinely passionate about working with children and their desire to make an impact. I love being able to connect candidates with services local to them.

I have recently worked with a contractor who was commuting 4 hours to work with a local authority. I managed to get her into a local authority that was significantly closer to where she lived, reducing her commute time. She is enjoying it much more and has increased her capacity.

I also love being able to provide feedback from clients to the Educational Psychologist’s which not only makes their day, but it also makes mine. Being able to provide ongoing support and foster real relationships with my candidates is something I pride myself on!

What are the current challenges facing the public sector?

As a consultant, the challenges faced due to the national shortage of Educational Psychologists and the high demand for their services is making it harder to find individuals. This puts a strain on local authorities and impacts their ability to support students effectively. A lot of local authorities across the UK are struggling with a backlog of reports. 

Finding high quality candidates who can hit the ground running and provide monthly quality and quantity reports can be challenging. With the shortage not appearing to slow down, this challenge is expected to be ongoing.

Outside of educational psychology, I know that the other sectors I recruit for have a very candidate-led market resulting in a vast number of roles but not many clinicians. 

This means that it can be hard to find the right fit and is why I feel it is important to ensure that my market knowledge is up to scratch.


How does Spencer Clarke Group help overcome these challenges?

As an agency, we actively seek out the best talent. If we have a role that we feel would be a great fit for someone we reach out to, we foster a relationship and provide them with access to roles that they may not have even heard of. 

We believe that it is important to listen to the needs of the service to help find the best fitting candidates. We have a large talent pool of Educational Psychologists that we keep in contact with on a regular basis and this talent pool grows larger by the day. 

We offer a one-stop shop for SEND and have a dedicated team to help support with Educational Psychologist employment opportunities.

We have vast knowledge within the SEND sector and are able to provide insight as well as consult local authorities to better understand why they may be struggling to attract the correct talent. We are able to turn around recruitment in a timely manner to ensure that the service doesn’t struggle.

We also work closely with private and public sector clients to provide Speech Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Clinical Psychologists with vast opportunities across all sectors whatever their requirements.


What advice would you give to someone newly qualified and looking for their first position?

My advice is to do some research and if you can’t find the answers to your questions, give us a call. As a specialist, I am able to provide insight into how you can progress through your professional education. There are a number of routes and we are able to provide some insight on the best way to get there.

We can also provide insight on what to expect once you leave university and can connect you with employers who are willing to interview you before you obtain your Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration. This allows you to have a job lined up and get stuck straight into work!

If you have experience and are looking to find some information on how the locum world works, we have in-depth knowledge and will be able to support you.


What does the future hold for you at Spencer Clarke Group?

I look forward to continuing to develop the sector for Educational and Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. I want to continue to be able to support local authorities, NHS and private sector clients with their recruitment and connect them with amazing individuals.

We are constantly looking to add new companies to our list to be able to provide individuals with as many choices as possible. 

Recruit Educational Psychologists and medical professionals

Struggling to recruit? We have exclusive access to the most experienced interim Educational Psychologists and medical professionals out there! Simply contact Natalie Boaler on 01772 954200 to discover how we can help.  

Educational Psychologist and medical professional jobs

Searching for the latest interim jobs? We provide the best temporary, interim and permanent jobs across the UK. Check out the current vacancies currently available or upload your CV to be notified when a relevant job opportunity arises.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

We are an energetic recruitment agency with a passion for culture, innovation and positivity. From the way we conduct business, to our core values, we are driven by our commitment to the evolution and progression of the recruitment industry.

We are determined to transform the recruitment experience and have a positive and meaningful impact on everyone we encounter.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

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